LIVING HISTORY was presented to Sykesville Middle School pupils last week as eighth-graders visited a Civil War encampment in nearby Cooper Park.
Re-enactors representing the Union and the Confederate armies had set up displays of what a typical camp looked like in each army.
Tents, clothing, munitions and food were available to be viewed and -- in the case of the hardtack -- tasted.
In addition to explaining briefly what each soldier's involvement in the war would have been, the educators stressed the importance of knowing history, and one's heritage.
"Look into your history. Know what it's about so that this doesn't happen again," said Sykesville resident Art Twigg, who portrayed Gen. Robert E. Lee. "Look into your family history, know who they were and be proud of who you are."
Several of the men participating in the encampment have traced their ancestry to soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Brothers John and Chris Millirons have been able to trace their heritage to Pvt. William Millirons, who served in Company F of the 54th Virginia Infantry.
Paul Page, a technology education teacher at Sykesville Middle, played the role of a soldier who fought for the Union during the war.
His wife Christine Page, and pupils Stacey Morgan, Amanda Fowble, Angie Gertin, Hannah Janiga and Chelsea Bystrak were dressed as women representing the North and the South.
The girls took delight in hearing how women on both sides of the war served as messengers by hiding important communications in their hair and the linings of their clothing.
A demonstration of manual arms and a volley of shots from black powder rifles also attracted interest.
Displays and explanations of gunpowder, shells and Minie balls drew interest and questions from the pupils.
Maryland Confederate re-enactors presented the school with two books about the war to be added to the media center.
Classical Christian school
A new school is set to open this fall. St. Stephen's Reformed Episcopal Church in Eldersburg will be the site of St. Stephen's Classical Christian Academy.
Open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade, the school will implement the classical trivium, which recognizes the developmental stages in children's lives and adopts teaching methods that correspond to each stage.
The trivium is divided into grammar, logic and rhetoric.
"This method teaches students how to present themselves in reference to material they have learned," said the Rev. Eric W. Jorgensen, pastor at St. Stephen's.
"They are taught how to write well, speak well publicly, debate well and to reason well. This approach is going back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic," he said.
During the grammar stage, which encompasses the basics of all subject matter, pupils learn through drills, chants, songs and memorization, with emphasis placed on reading and phonics.
In the logic and rhetoric stages, pupils are challenged to reason with the subject matter, as well as to articulate the material in oral and written form.
The classical Christian movement began in the mid-1980s, said Jorgensen. "It's been done and tested, and has been found to be successful. Students do not simply learn the material, but are given the tools to learn on their own."
The curriculum used at the school has been accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International.
Subjects taught will include mathematics, reading, grammar, history, science, Latin, Bible and physical education. Plans are to add a grade level each year beginning next year.
Tuition has been set at $2,100 for full-time pupils, with kindergarten tuition of $1,500 for half day.
A 20 percent reduction is available for siblings.
Enrollment deadline is May 28. For an enrollment package or more information, contact Jorgensen at 410-795-1249.
Mall Easter events
Carrolltown Center will sponsor the "Oh-So Different Easter Egg Hunt" beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the mall. Come find out what makes this event unusual.
The young and the young at heart can have photos taken with the Easter Bunny from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 15 and 22.
Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.